I really liked Todd Henry’s book The Accidental Creative and have been using it with my senior thesis students this semester. I liked it so much that I interviewed Todd for Fieldnotes a little over a year ago. The book helped me tremendously – I need to revisit it! – with thinking about creative disciplines to help me do good work.
So I was pleased to see that over at The High Calling, they’re going through Todd’s newest book, Die Empty. I’d been planning on reading it, so maybe this is the kick I need. “Die empty” is Todd’s way of encouraging readers to build habits of longevity in their work:
First, I believe a great many people do regret not having treated their life with more purpose, and would give anything to have one more chance to approach it with the kind of intention and conviction that imminent death makes palpable … Second, this saying presupposes that work is an inherently miserable act that people engage in against their will, or that it’s something that necessarily pulls us away from the people and activities we really care about. But work encompasses much more than just how we make a living … Humans, it seems, are wired to find satisfaction by adding value through toil … I believe that the more you apply self-knowledge to how you engage your labor, the more satisfaction you will find in the very act of work, and thus the more joy you will find in life.
If you find all that appealing, you might want to join the conversation.